Update from Founder

It’s been a long time coming but the change I prayed for has come. Earlier this year I was invited to the launch of Rock Base Charity Foundation, a Gambian based charity founded by one Lamin Dahaba from Brikama. Lamin expressed an interest in here as a good place for future charity based projects relating to child protection, women’s rights, organic gardening, skills training etc. As these issues are, and always have been, close to my heart, it would mean that here would be conserved for the future benefit of the community, my long term dream.

In light of this I agreed to sell the land at a reasonable price. As the charity itself has no funds at this time to purchase the property it was agreed that Lamin Dahaba and his good friend, Sourakata Sibi (known as Papis) in America, would purchase it together over a period of three years. A legal Sales/Purchase Agreement was signed and sealed on 18th June 2018 and since 27th June, when I went to the UK for the summer, Lamin has been living in the main house and farming. Payments are being made on a quarterly basis and I retain the right to live here until the payment is complete.

Since 11th September I have been living in our lovely little Wooden Deck House, a whole new experience and been busy gardening and showing Lamin the way of things. Lamin and Papis are currently trying to raise funds to pay a worker or two and further links with already existing contacts regarding project development. Meanwhile I remain a guardian and guide and will continue to advise as best I can.

I am praying for a positive future for all. Please support Rockbase Foundation in any way you can to help develop it and ensure the future development of this village. Our Nursery School and Health Clinic sponsors have given notice to 31st August 2019 and new sponsors are required.

 

 

 

 

Rain Season

Rain season started towards the end of June and has built up, through July and August and now into September, with some regular and dramatic thunder and electric storms.

The land has turned completely green with grasses, wild flowers and vines growing everywhere.

Cashew and other trees have been pruned creating lots of good sticks and firewood.

Bees, birds and butterflies and all manner of insects are busy with big snails all around.

Grasses being pulled and flowerbeds being recreated with lots of cutting back, digging and some transplanting.

I find the nature unbelievably beautiful and am inspired every day to work within and with it.

The local people are ploughing land everywhere, mostly by hand tools and occasionally by local plough.

 

 Bakary Sambouya  nursery  School children in class.

 

Time to farm, to plant cassava, corn, ground nut and more, most of which will be harvested at the end of the rain season which finishes around the end of October. Keeping the land clear of grasses is ongoing work and here we have to bring in local youth to keep the grasses down.

The women are busy in the old riverbed preparing the land and planting rice again. The migratory and rice eating yellow weaver birds, that drive them to distraction, are back!

Nature thrives. We are blessed.

A Big Thank You!

July 9, 2017July 10, 2017 | Meg Roberton | Edit

 

 

 

 

A Big Thank You!

A big THANK YOU to Mr Magdy for his very kind donation to pay all the Bakary Sambouya Village Nursery School fees and to sponsor a number of children. It is hugely appreciated.

Also a big thank you to my daughter Mary for sowing the seeds and making it happen.

The village Nursery School is sponsored by a small UK charity, The Kambeng Trust. Concerned about the school’s future and the need to create financial sustainability, in September 2016 they introduced an annual fee of 300 dalasis (approx £5) per child. Though this sounds very little, to the majority here who live in poverty, especially those families with more than one child at the school, it is simply an added and rarely affordable burden.

In three terms only 24,000 of the expected 60,000 dalasis has been collected. The sponsorship money from Mr Magdy will cover the fees for all 200 children, and those who have already paid the fees are to be refunded.  This is a real blessing for the village.

The sponsored children include:

A 14 year old boy with a learning disability who now has regular 1:1 support and a programme of activities within the local community.

A 16 year old girl, currently in attendance at a technical secondary school, with an ambition to be a pilot.

A 12 year old boy who is unhappy in the local Primary School and who expressed a wish to attend a better school.

Two 5/6 year old boys who are mostly cared for by their extremely poor and hard working grandmother.

Sponsorship for these children will undoubtedly make a positive difference to their lives.

Thank you, Mr Magdy. Thank you.

About the Founder of Nature Garden Gambia

June 11, 2017July 8, 2017 | Meg Roberton | Edit

My name is Meg Roberton, and it has always been my dream to create a Place, a safe house, a sanctuary in nature.

I first created such a place in West Wiltshire 1983 – 1992 when I rented a big house with gardens, woods and country all around and filled it with children, not only my three, and animals, ‘my menagerie’ as an old friend once remarked.  I think that an injured rook named Edgar, after the poet, was living in the kitchen at the time and a neighbour had left his rather elderly golden labrador in my care. Continue reading →

Private: Marcin and the music studio

May 21, 2017May 21, 2017 | Joshua Roberton | Edit

About the Founder of Nature Garden Gambia

My name is Meg Roberton, and it has always been my dream to create a Place, a safe house, a sanctuary in nature.

I first created such a place in West Wiltshire 1983 – 1992 when I rented a big house with gardens, woods and country all around and filled it with children, not only my three, and animals, ‘my menagerie’ as an old friend once remarked.  I think that an injured rook named Edgar, after the poet, was living in the kitchen at the time and a neighbour had left his rather elderly golden labrador in my care. Continue reading